The Jakarta Post
Ging Ginanjar, a senior BBC Indonesia journalist and co-founder of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), died at the age of 55 on Sunday, eliciting expressions of grief from many fellow journalists and pro-democracy activists.
Ging was active in the pro-democracy movement toward the end of former president Soeharto’s New Order in the 1990s and spent some time in jail after participating in the Indonesian People’s Congress (KRI) in 1998.
Poet and essayist Goenawan Mohamad quoted William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to mourn Ging: “When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of heaven so fine,” he posted on his Twitter account.
When he shall die,— goenawan mohamad (@gm_gm) January 20, 2019
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
— Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet”. Perkabungan kami untuk Ging. pic.twitter.com/kI5sVPzHjJ
Fellow BBC journalists Rebecca Henschke and Mayuri Mei Lin also took to Twitter to post their remembrances of their colleague.
“A brilliant, fearless, sharp and principled journalist. A magical and fun storyteller,” Henschke wrote. “A joy to be with, a great dancer and a true and dear friend. You have left us too soon."
@BBCIndonesia and the Indonesian media has lost one of its brightest stars @gingginanjar. A brilliant, fearless, sharp and principled journalist. A magical and fun storyteller. A joy to be with, a great dancer and a true and dear friend. You have left us too soon. https://t.co/CjToUQdfiY— Rebecca Henschke (@rebeccahenschke) January 20, 2019
Mayuri posted a video of Ging enthusiastically celebrating an Indonesian badminton player’s victory, saying: “This was Ging. He was exuberant; he was goofy, his energy infectious. I am heartbroken to hear that he has left us.
This was Ging. He was exuberant, he was goofy, his energy infectious. I am heartbroken to hear that he has left us. I will always remember him for warmly welcoming me to Indonesia, for his kindness, for his showing me what a great journalist looks like. 📽: Haryo Wirawan pic.twitter.com/GUbqGinQBQ— Mayuri Mei Lin (@mayuism) January 20, 2019
Activists Veronica Koman and Andreas Harsono also paid tribute to Ging’s commitment to human rights.
“He was one of very few Indonesian journalists who actually cared and fought to get the news out about West Papua,” Veronica tweeted. “RIP, Bang Ging, you are going to be missed. Totally heartbroken."
Devastated. Indonesia has just lost one of its greatest journalists @gingginanjar.— Veronica Koman (@VeronicaKoman) January 20, 2019
He was one of very few Indonesian journalists who actually care and fight to get the news out about West Papua.
RIP, Bang Ging, you are going to be missed. Totally heartbroken.
“Ging Ginanjar was a quality journalist, always willing to fight for human rights, dared to fight against injustice, liked to joke around and also a little stubborn,” Harsono wrote.
Ging Ginanjar wartawan bermutu, selalu mau berjuang buat hak asasi manusia, berani lawan ketidakadilan, suka bercanda tapi juga bandel ... tak cepat percaya dokter, tak mau operasi usus buntu 😢 https://t.co/ItTVDnQgXO— Andreas Harsono (@andreasharsono) January 20, 2019
Ging’s body is lying in repose at the Siloam Semanggi Hospital in Central Jakarta and is to be buried in Bandung, West Java on Tuesday. (ipa)